Grand Canyon University EDU225: Sarah Macdonald
April 12, 2015
“In order to be an effective teacher, you must open your mind to learning more about assistive technology and to incorporating it into your classroom. In your role of an educator, part of your responsibility is to create an inclusive environment.” (https://managingaclassroom.wikispaces.com) Assistive Technology comes in many forms and can help in various ways. Technology can facilitate ongoing learning by giving kids an outlet to practice what is being taught in fun and innovative ways. Teachers sometimes have a hard time finding ways to give summative assessments to students that meet each one’s needs and technology changes that. There are so many different options to test your students while meeting their educational needs and gathering information based off of online learning. While children learn in a way that best suits them through technology, teachers are able to assess what they are retaining and what content areas need more work to prepare them for tests or quizzes. By incorporating technology into lessons, students will become more engaged in and excited about the subject at hand. Lessons that would normally be tedious for many, such as social studies, can be much more engaging with virtual field trips and streaming video. (http://www.eslteachersboard.com/cgi-bin/tech/index.pl?read=185) Even though technology has a lot to offer when assisting with assessing students; there are some downsides to this as well. When teachers rely too heavily on the technology part of it, they can become lazy and not take as much care and time into really assessing their kids. “Technology can never be fully relied on. As we all know technology always has its flaws, and if a student’s assistive device is not working properly, the student may not be able to complete his or her tasks” (http://technoedu.weebly.com/prosa-nd-cons-of-assistive-technology.html) Every resource we use in the classroom always has a chance of failing. There is always the chance that student will not grasp the information being taught to them or that it simply doesn’t meet the needs of all of your students. The best way to find a successful resource through technology is by testing the waters. See what’s out there to benefit your student’s learning and your teaching. A lot of work goes into being a successful teacher that incorporates technology in the classroom but it pays off. Being able to give your students what they need in ways that engages them and leaves them passionate to learn is possible if you work and look for it. It’s also important to know that “Technology in the classroom is not just for students. Teachers can use the technology to keep student records, plan lessons and communicate with parents” (http://www.eslteachersboard.com/) Assistive technology isn’t just for the student. It comes with benefits for the teacher and parents as well.
STUDENT CENTERED TECHNOLOGY IN THE CLASSROOM
Technology can be used for learning in the classroom in a variety of ways. Technology can be used not only for lesson purposes but also to better the education of specific students. Because technology has many aspects to it, it is important to have a plan for the lesson. “ A roadmap needs to be followed for matching technological tools to learning outcomes, so that technology can be used to get students to interact with course content in an engaging and productive fashion.” (http://edtechreview.in/trends-insights/insights/743-using-technology-for-student-centered-learning-environment) There are so many things to keep in mind when creating a lesson that has technology as the foundation. There are many benefits that come with using technology in the classroom. Some of them include empowering the learning and organizing activities. In regards to empowering the learner; “Interactive online assignments can help students assess their learning themselves, counter their drawbacks, improve and be responsible for their own learning. Online assignments also give students opportunities to practice mastering the study material at their own pace.” Ed tech review made a great point when they said that “When a teacher adopts technology in the classroom to aid him in teaching, he is able to create learning experiences that complement each other whether the students are learning online or are present in the classroom physically” There are different learning styles that accompany each technology lesson in class and this can be very beneficial to your students. When it comes to aiding students who are struggling or may have disabilities, technology can come along side your lessons to help with that too. Giving students options when they are struggling with the initial lesson is a smart and helpful way to keep all of them engaged ever when struggles or problems arise with their learning. “Students in technology-supported classrooms are armed with powerful tools to help them gather information, consult with fellow students or teachers and present their findings”. When you rely on more than just the textbook you are opening so many doors to deeper knowledge and more resources. Kids are able to look beyond the books and learn in creative and innovative ways. Being given options in the classroom makes learning fun and in the student’s control. They are taking their education into their own hands and learning for themselves without being forced to. Yes integrating technology into the classroom can be time consuming and very difficult at times, but the amount of progress that student’s show in their ability to learn is worth that struggle. You end up creating a more engaged classroom that you and your kids enjoy. Technology is here to assist our student’s learning, not hinder it. When used correctly and with care, technology in the classroom can bring about immense benefits. FacultyFocus.com tells us that by incorporating technology in the classroom you are shifting the balance of power to the learner. Their learning is now in their hands and that can bring about both positive and negative results. Before using technology, be aware of the readiness of your students and their ability to learn. If they don’t seem ready for what you are about to bring into the classroom, then prepare them and teach them to give them the best education possible.